Criminal Law

Court clears ex Minister, Turaki of money laundering charges

From Olalekan Awojodu, Abuja

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja Monday discharged and acquitted the former Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Kabiru Turaki SAN, of money laundering charge.

In a ruling on the no-case submission filed by the defence, the Presiding Judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo averred that the  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC failed to link  with the offences contained in the 16-counts charge.

Justice Inyang Ekwo  said that the prosecution could not establish a prima facie case against them.

Justice Ekwo maintained  that the defendants dislodged all the evidence of the prosecution witnesses called in the matter during cross examination, describing the 12 witnesses relied on by EFCC as “tainted witnesses.”

The judge said that it was established during cross examination that Turaki was not a signatory to the account of the ministry and did not authorize any payment or make any transfer of funds.

Justice Inyang Ekwo aligned with the argument that held the former minister was not a member of the Ministerial Tender Board and that there was no inflow of funds from the account of the ministry to  Turaki’s company.

Recall that the EFCC had earlier in the 16-counts, accused the former minister and others of unlawful and criminal misappropriation of N715 million.

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